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Forensically Robust Detection of the Presence of Morpholine in Apples—Proof of Principle
Morpholine is a precursor of carcinogenic nitrosamines and although the possibility of their formation in the human stomach after ingestion of morpholine-treated apples is reported as highly unlikely morpholine has not been authorised as a food additive in the EU. Methods for its detection are required since it is permitted in other jurisdictions and may be present on food through direct treatment of fruit with waxes containing the compound, through steam treatment during processing or from packaging. Methods using derivatising agents with the inclusion of UV chromophores such as dansyl chloride yield good separation and high sensitivity but with mass spectrometric fragment ions predominantly originated from the derivatising group rather than the morpholine moiety. An amine acetylation derivatisation method is proposed from which fragment ions originating from the morpholine group are detected using widely available GC–MS. With full validation, a forensically robust confirmation of the presence of morpholine via its N-acetyl derivative is possible in support of regulatory analysis.
Further information can be obtained from Food Analytical Methods or by contacting the authors via the NMS helpdesk at LGC.
- Author - Walker M, Gray K, Hopley C, Bell D, Colwell P, Maynard P and Thorburn Burns D
- Reference Number - DOI: 10.1007/s12161-011-9324-z
Last modified on
15 February 2012.